The Power of Aimless To-do Lists

in Opinion by

By Tori Sundholm | For the Clarion

 

Last week, I scribbled down “send brother happy birthday text” on my to-do list and crossed it off with the gusto of completing a 12-page research paper on literary theory.

The trick to a successful to-do list starts with writing down the simplest task – clip toenails, heat up pizza, send grandpa a Snapchat. One essential component: never write down anything you actually need to accomplish – start paper that was due last week, prep for presentation, and a place to live. This will only leave you staring at Monday’s “write humor column” bullet point at 3:50 p.m. on the Thursday that Prince passes away, while simultaneously reading First Ave’s newest tweet, “All Night Dance Party. Tonight. 11:00PM | 18+ | No Cover | First Avenue”

You go to the dance party. All night. The truth is I’m surprised I made it to graduation. I signed up for about six big-ticket commitments this semester, then promptly sat on my couch for three months. I watched each commitment simultaneously blow up, while the deep brown sofa slipcover mocked my inaction and I thought, is is adult life.

Incomplete to-do lists.

Now that I’ve successfully smoothed over my failures and slid into the last two weeks of my senior year, only three IDEA class surveys stand between me and creating longer, more pointless to-do lists to ensure I make it through the real world.

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Here are some tasks I hope to cross off in my first year out of college:

  1. Get a job, any job, except Burger King
  2. Decide how to use all my extra time wisely
  3. Watch every episode of The Mindy Show on Hulu
  4. Get better skin
  5. Stop eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  6. Save up to buy Kim Kardashian’s cellulite cream
  7. Read all the books I skimmed during my English degree (Specifically, everything from Humanities II)
  8. Apply for theSkimm and beef up my skimming skills in cover letter
  9. Shower every day
  10. Sign my mom up for Christian Mingle
  11. Create an Instagram for my grandpa, username: “deerhunter73”
  12. Buy Kim K’s teeth whitening kit
  13. Read C.S. Lewis every night and cast out all doubts about Christianity, AKA figure out my faith
  14. Buy a stair stepper and maybe use it
  15. Design tiny villages out of Legos
  16. Learn how to cross-stitch motivational quotes, “Dreams do come true.” -Kim K.
  17. Watch every season of Gilmore Girls on Netflix
  18. Watch every show on Netflix
  19. Re-watch all of The Mindy Show
  20. Become a Snapchat phenomenon like my grandpa
  21. Learn how to cook with cauliflower
  22. Learn how to cook
  23. Re-watch all of Gilmore Girls
  24. Paint my nails Essie “ballet slipper” pink
  25. Create a financial plan to pay o student loans
  26. Ignore financial plan and use loan money to attend every show on Beyonce’s Formation Tour
  27. Become a regular at the nearest McDonalds
  28. Start a funny group message about hot dogs with siblings and get it published in Buzzfeed
  29. Successfully freeze my boss’s stapler in a bowl of Jell-O
  30. Say final farewells to all my favorite Bethel bathrooms
  31. Learn how to surf in Australia
  32. While there, perfect Australian accent
  33. Adopt a golden retriever puppy named Carl
  34. Drop Carl o at grandpa’s house and promise to visit
  35. Camp in Ellen Degeneres’s driveway until she lets me in for dinner
  36. Steal George Clooney’s number from Ellen’s phone and give to my mom
  37. Get free tickets to The Ellen Show from our dinner party and do the Dougie with Twitch
  38. Become a YouTube phenomenon starring in “how- to” hip-hop dance videos
  39. Win Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
  40. Start a petition to get Sophia Grace and Rosie back on Ellen
  41. Turn 23
  42. Panic
  43. Realize I’ve done nothing important in the last year
  44. Sit on my re-upholstered grey couch for five months
  45. Land a job that I think I might like
  46. Cook mac and cheese for dinner, add cheesy hot dogs
  47. Realize figuring life out takes a bit of time
  48. Give myself a break and and a pedicure
  49. Never write anything important down
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